Designer-hungry China in sight at London fashion

Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:51pm EDT
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By Marie-Louise Gumuchian

LONDON (Reuters) - Presenting luxurious cocktail dresses, white tuxedo jackets and Asian prints at his fashion show, British designer Julien Macdonald says he has a certain market in sight -- China.

"We're all in a recession but China isn't, China is booming," Macdonald told Reuters after his spring/summer 2012 show at London Fashion Week.

"The new money is in China, every designer in the world wants to break into China and to the Orient."

Sales of designer goods in China have surged in recent years with the rising spending power of a new class of consumers and their desire to buy into the luxury sector.

The world's biggest luxury market within five years has become a second home for brands such Hermes, Prada and Tiffany & Co that tap Chinese appetite for sports cars, luxury handbags and diamonds.

And British designers have taken note.

"There's quite a boom in the world of fashion and I believe that is mostly because of China," designer Vivienne Westwood told Reuters after her Red label fashion show. "At the moment, we're all benefiting from this big interest in China."

Asked if she was courting Chinese buyers, she said: "No, they're courting me, they've come to us."   Continued...

<p>Designer Julien MacDonald (R) watches a catwalk rehearsal ahead of his 2012 Spring/Summer collection during London Fashion Week September 17, 2011. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>